The book of Haggai is about a message God spoke to Haggai to speak to High Priest Zerubbabel and His remnant in Jerusalem. And today us Christian we are the remnant that God is speaking to through this book of Haggai. This chapter I would love to give it a tittle The Rebuilding of God’s Temple.
vs1-7: Time to get out of captivity.
In the second year of [a]Darius the king [of Persia], on the first day of the sixth month (Aug 29, 520 b.c.), the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying, 2 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘These people say, “The time has not come that the Lord’s house (temple) should be [b]rebuilt.”’” 3 Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 “Is it time for you yourselves to live in your [expensive] paneled houses while this house [of the Lord] lies in ruins?” 5 Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways and thoughtfully reflect on your conduct! 6 You have planted much, but you harvest little; you eat, but you do not have enough; you drink, but you do not have enough to be intoxicated; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns wages earns them just to put them in a bag with holes in it [because God has withheld His blessing].”
This message to us who have been captive and slaves of sin, sexual sin, ignorance, stealing, not seeking God etc.I know you may wonder if not seeking God is a sin, read the book of Zephaniah. The bible states that the people sinned God by not seeking Him, Inquiring from Him and not offering prayer hence the Lord did not bless them.
You may be saying that your time for giving your life to Christ is yet to come like the people of Jerusalem in verse 2 and 3, but here is a confirmation for you that as you read this, this your the perfect time to mend your relationship with Christ and to surrender your life to Him.
As mentioned earlier is this chapter is about rebuilding God’s temple, and you may be in a church that has a beautiful building and wondering what other temple we are building.
verse 7-11: What’s a God temple?
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways and thoughtfully reflect on your conduct! 8 Go up to the hill country, bring lumber and rebuild My house (temple), that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the Lord [accepting it as done for My glory]. 9 You look for much [harvest], but it comes to little; and even when you bring that home, I blow it away. Why?” says the Lord of hosts. “Because of My house, which lies in ruins while each of you runs to his own house [eager to enjoy it]. 10 Therefore, because of you [that is, your sin and disobedience] the heavens withhold the dew and the earth withholds its produce. 11 I called for a drought on the land and the hill country, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands.”
1st Corinthias 3: 16-17 ” Do you not know that you’re God’s temple and that God dwells in you?  If any man destroys God’s temple, God will destroy them. For God temple is hold and that temple you are.”
So, when we are talking about God’s temple, we are talking about ourselves. Our HEART to be more specific.
One thing that shows we need a rebuilding is coz we are in ruin. We are clothed in very beautiful clothes but deep inside our hearts we are peaceless, we are rich but don’t have the ability to enjoy the wealth. We have very beautiful homes, family but we don’t even desire by the end of the day to go our beautiful expensive houses because there is no peace. We are toiling ourselves, working day and night but its not worth it since the money has never been enough. All this and much more problem because our heart is in ruins, our heart roofs are dripping when it rains. Because our hearts building is falling down. And that’s the building we are rebuilding.
Verse 12-13: How to Rebuild the Temple
“Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people [who had returned from exile], listened carefully and obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the words of Haggai the prophet, since the Lord their God had sent him. And the people [reverently] feared the Lord. 13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, spoke the Lord’s message to the people saying, “‘I am with you,’ declares the Lord.”
Priest Zerubbabel and the remnants of God obeyed the voice of the servant of God and feared the Lord.
Hence we rebuild the temple through obedience and the fear of the Lord.
Obedience refers to hearkening and submitting to God’s will, hearing the word of God and acting on and aligning our will to God’s will.
Obedience calls for a teachable heart, loyal heart. We cannot obey if we are not ready to listen, learn and do. Here is the most important thing, we are obeying the lord and the voice of truth which is the bible. The bible says,” My sheep know and hear my voice and they follow me.” We are the sheep, and the Lord is our shepherd.
Thoughts for pounder:
a: How does God speak to you?
b: Do you know the voice of your Shepherd?
You cannot obey a voice that you do not recognize.
c: Are you one of His sheep?
In this end time there are so many voices and as Christians we need to be alert and sober in the spirit to be able to differentiate between the voice of the true shepherd from thee false. How then do we do that?
a: Through crosschecking every word we listen and hear with the word of God.
b: Praying for the spirit of discernment. James 1: ” If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
2: Fear of the Lord.
The second way to rebuild the temple is through the fear of the Lord.
1st Peter 2:5 ” And like living stones be yourselves build into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Christ.”
That is through daily crucifying us, giving ourselves as living sacrifice to God and letting Christ be glorified in us. That is how we show we fear the Lord. We wouldn’t want to go against Him , that is we would not want to give in to our fleshly desires and yet He is spirit, He who is of the spirit is spirit himself.
WWJD – What Would Jesus Do. Everday we WWJD, that since its God living through me and me then what would He do if He found Himself in the different situations, I find myself. Then do what Jesus would have done. Remembering that we are imitators of Christ Jesus.
verse 14-15: Processes of rebuilding
“14 So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, 15 on the [c]twenty-fourth day of the sixth month (Sept 21, 520 b.c.) in the second year of Darius the king.”
After Zerubbabel and the remnant obeyed and feared God, God came back home to His temple, and He was with them. He did not stop at restoration of His presence, He also stirred the Spirit which was already dead in them, and they started the rebuilding of the temple.
Obedience and the fear of the Lord will allow Him to restore His presence to us and stir up the Spirit who will counsel us on how to rebuild and build the temple of the Lord on daily basis.
The lord desires to restore His presence and Spirit to us, but we He cannot do that until our hearts are open for Him. Well, the key to the doors of our heart is Obedience and the Fera of the Lord.
In the next Chapter, we will look wt what next after we have rebuilt His temple.